Jump to content
The Education Forum

Gary Younge

Members
  • Content Count

    26
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Gary Younge

  • Rank
    Member
  1. It took the best part of 200 years for the law to catch up. In Barack Obama's candidacy we are now learning how far America's political culture has come in this regard and how far it still has to go. Because, for all the misty-eyed liberal talk of him ushering in a post-racial era, the past few weeks have seen Obama fighting not just for the nomination but for his patriotic legitimacy. Constantly questioning his national loyalty and obfuscating his religious affiliation, both the media and his opponents have sought to cast him not only as anti-American but un-American and at times even non-Ame
  2. It is one of the enduring paradoxes of American racism that those black Americans most likely to exercise their full rights as citizens - to vote, to stand, to speak out - are the most likely to be branded as unpatriotic. "Of course the fact that a person believes in racial equality doesn't prove that he's a communist," said the chairman of a loyalty review board, one of the McCarthyite kangaroo courts that sat in judgment of possible communists, in the 50s. "But it certainly makes you look twice, doesn't it? You can't get away from the fact that racial equality is part of the communist line
  3. Some will wonder in years to come how, with markets wavering, the Fed ready to pronounce and the American economy flirting with stagflation - or, worse still, recession - the top political story in the US became a story about race, even for a few hours. Not even a story. A speech. A good speech - a speech that could have been delivered any time over the past 30 years, but also, somehow, had to be delivered now. Essentially, Senator Barack Obama's speech in Philadelphia yesterday said nothing new, even if it contradicted what he has said before. Back when he was addressing the Democratic conve
  4. During his 1984 presidential bid Jesse Jackson vowed to choose a woman as his running mate - the only candidate to do so during the primaries. Having drawn in a new cohort of voters, he mobilised the "rainbow coalition" of blacks, Latinos, trade unionists, feminists, peace activists and gays to mount a credible challenge to the Democratic party establishment. Originally treated as a fringe candidate, he came in third with 20% of the vote. So even as the party sought to sideline him as an individual, they knew that he had awakened a constituency whose demands they would have to engage with. W
  5. I'm not being defensive at all. Indeed whom would I be defending. In terms of Europe reckoning with its colonial past the world hasn't moved at all in my book. Otherwise how would you make sense of someone like Blunkett saying "And those who come into our home - for that is what it is - should accept those norms just as we would have to do if we went elsewhere." That's news to people in India, Ghana, Rhodesia and so on. Or Gordon Brown saying "The days of Britain having to apologise for its colonial history are over. We should talk, and rightly so, about British values that are enduring, beca
  6. I agree on your assessment of liberals and the left. This war has in fact highlighted that difference as have the "debates" if you can call them that over multiculturalism at home. I think the party affiliation in this respect is immaterial. When I think Labour I don't think "the Left" although I know there are some leftists in there.
  7. Gary, do you feel that this phenomina was almost inevitable, given the scale of defeats suffered by the left over the past 30 years? A kind of semi-collective". I would like to be on the winning side for a change" How would a defeat for America and the UK play out with them, do you see it re-altering their world view? The dominant trend in social democratic thinking has always been more nationalist than internationalist. I think this war simply exposed that fissure. With Blair and the Labour leadership I think there was definitely a decision to be on the winning side. Morally it was enti
  8. The quote you use was from an article written on October 15th 2001. The context is important. Neither Spain nor London bombings had happened yet. I was predicting them. I think there are a few reasons why there has been no terror attacks since 9/11 in the states, foremost among them being that they had the first one. The demographic profile of the Muslim community in the US is also very different. US Muslims are generally wealthier and better educated than the population at large. The pool of alienation and resentment which provides the political base from which bombers might emerge - the bomb
  9. The quote you use was from an article written on October 15th 2001. The context is important. Neither Spain nor London bombings had happened yet. I was predicting them. I think there are a few reasons why there has been no terror attacks since 9/11 in the states, foremost among them being that they had the first one. The demographic profile of the Muslim community in the US is also very different. US Muslims are generally wealthier and better educated than the population at large. The pool of alienation and resentment which provides the political base from which bombers might emerge - the bomb
  10. Good question. With Bush I think it is the fear and horror of the original attack. The further away we move from the attack (that's from the same piece written on October 15th) the more difficult it becomes to evoke. After the attacks people wanted action. Bush gave it to them. None could say he didn't do anything. I remember being in the US in October 2001. Talking to people about the UN or other countries have responded different to injustices (Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa for example) Met with blank stares. People wanted something done. It was understandable but not very smart
  11. When it comes to "liberal" Europeans attitude to US foreign policy at the moment I would say there have been two dominant strands. One has rightly attacked American foreign policy but has occasionally done so with an air of moral superiority that is laughable given Europe's own history. I see little evidence from French or Belgian criticisms of this war, for example, that would suggest that the critics would relate this to what happened in the Congo or Algeria. Instead it is understood discretely in the history of US imperialism alongside Vietnam, Korea and the first Gulf war. This isn't a com
  12. There is no overestimating the popular reverence Americans have for their men and women in uniform. A direct translation of "squaddie", a term steeped in class contempt which betrays as much antipathy and ambivalence as it does admiration in the UK, simply does not exist in the US. Fighting for your country is generally regarded as the ultimate form of public service. Flight attendants will announce the presence of an active service man or woman to cheers from the rest of the plane. At anti-war demonstrations, protesters wave banners proclaiming "Support the troops, oppose the war." The natio
  13. The dominant role of money in US politics is widely acknowledged but all too rarely interrogated. The corruption scandals that made the news last year flouted the letter of the law but did not violate its spirit. Money buys access; access begets influence. It is as close to a textbook definition of corruption as you can get - but it's still legal. "We have created a culture in which there's no distinction between what is illegal and what is unethical," says the former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. The Bush administration did not invent this culture but it has exacerbated it.
  14. Robert Gates, the new defence secretary, recently insisted: "I don't know how many times the president, secretary [of state Condoleezza] Rice and I have had to repeat that we have no intention of attacking Iran." The sad fact is Gates can say it as many times as he likes because no one believes him. In April 2002, Bush told Trevor McDonald: "I have no plans to attack [iraq] on my desk." An $8 cab ride to the Pentagon and Bush would have found the plans on Donald Rumsfeld's desk. He knew this because he put them there four months earlier. On November 21 2001, he asked Rumsfeld: "What kind of w
  15. Robert Gates, the new defence secretary, recently insisted: "I don't know how many times the president, secretary [of state Condoleezza] Rice and I have had to repeat that we have no intention of attacking Iran." The sad fact is Gates can say it as many times as he likes because no one believes him. In April 2002, Bush told Trevor McDonald: "I have no plans to attack [iraq] on my desk." An $8 cab ride to the Pentagon and Bush would have found the plans on Donald Rumsfeld's desk. He knew this because he put them there four months earlier. On November 21 2001, he asked Rumsfeld: "What kind of w
×
×
  • Create New...